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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Advice for Alcohol Licensing

This page includes information for premises licensed under the Licensing Act 2003.

 

Our Licensing Team, whilst working from home are maintaining the licensing service and are available to support and advise local businesses whilst promoting the licensing objectives.

Applicants can continue to submit applications in respect of licensed premises and licensable activities, they will be processed in line with statutory timescales.

Applications via email (licensing@powys.gov.uk) or gov.uk  website are encouraged, there may be a short delay in responding to applications submitted by post as this is not checked every day due to restrictions about staff access to Council offices, in addition there may also be a short delay in sending out any paper licences, electronic licences will be issued in the short term.

Under The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions)(Wales) Regulations 2020, https://gov.wales/coronavirus-covid-19-closure-businesses-and-premises, many licensed premises have been forced to close. These include pubs, clubs and restaurants selling food or drink for consumption on the premises (which includes any seating areas adjacent to the premises).

 

Off Sales

Shops, supermarkets, take-away food and drink restaurants, delivery services and off-licences remain open for business and provide a vital role in supplying households. They must ensure customers collecting goods and takeaways abide by the social distance rules and not allow consumption of food or drink on the premises or any adjacent seating area.

Premises still remain closed for on-sales, however a  new Business and Planning Bill  https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-21/businessandplanning.html on route to approval will give a blanket permission for any premises licensed for on-sale of alcohol to make off-sales in addition, this provision will remain in place until end of September 2021.

Off sales advice: https://www.popall.co.uk/docs/Applications/OFFSALESADVICE.pdf

Where off sales of alcohol are made for immediate consumption outside the premises then there must not be any adjacent seating this includes any public seating areas.  You must take steps to ensure that your customers do not gather together to drink this could include signage at the point of sale, in addition staff should monitor the immediate area to ensure that this does not happen and ensure that customers disperse.

 

Re-opening of Premises

Hospitality premises - bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants etc are now permitted to open outdoors only from Monday 13th July. Please see the Welsh Guidance published by UK hospitality in conjunction with Welsh Government

https://www.ukhospitality.org.uk/page/WalesGuidance

Additional Welsh Government Requirements (see guidance above for a full list):

  • Opening outdoors only
  • Marquees /awnings / gazebos must have 3 or 4 open sides, must be policed effectively so as not to allow for an excessive confined congregation
  • Pre-booking recommended
  • Record lead customer names and contact details to facilitate Test Trace Protect
  • Table consumption only, standing permitted at tall tables
  • Set Max capacity, consider setting dwell times to manage this
  • Deploy fixed teams of staff on each shift to reduce interactivity
  • No live performances including drama, comedy or music
  • Childrens Play areas to be closed
  • Consider use of Apps or other communication devices to reduce contact with customers, include options for menus, ordering, billing and contactless payment
  • Access to indoor toilets permitted (see separate guidance on this below)
  • Deep clean before re-opening
  • Thorough & regular cleaning of high contact touch points
  • Signage about social distancing, ensure customers comply

You should also make reference to the Welsh government Hospitality Sector Guidance:

https://gov.wales/tourism-and-hospitality-businesses-guidance-phased-reopening

Premises will need to undertake a Covid 19 risk assessment of their premises and consider what measures are necessary. For a template risk assessment see . https://www.hse.gov.uk/simple-health-safety/risk/risk-assessment-template-and-examples.htm

Below are some resources that may assist in preparing for re-opening:

https://www.popall.co.uk/docs/Applications/Coronavirus-Pre-opening-Checklist-V5.pdf

https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/working-safely/index.htm

https://www.bii.org/news/coronavirus-advice/reopening-your-business/

https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2020-06/covid-19-keep-wales-safe-in-retail.pdf

5 steps to operating safely [242KB]

 

Use of Outside Areas

Premises will currently only be able to use outside areas that they own, or have a licence for such as beer gardens and car parks to provide seating and tables for customers. Businesses may also want to provide a table service to customers and this will be permissible regardless of whether the area is included on your premises plan.

However, if you anticipate erecting an outside bar for selling of alcohol then licence holders should check that their outside areas are covered to do this i.e. is the outside area covered on the premises licence for sale of alcohol? you would need to refer to the plan attached to your premises licence. If not then you might want to consider varying your licence to enable this or to use temporary authorisations such as a TEN  bearing in mind there are restrictions on the number of TENS and days that a TEN can cover. If you are unsure about whether your licence covers you for an outdoor bar then please contact the licensing team for advice.

 

Licence fees

Licensing Act 2003 fees are set centrally. Councils don't have flexibility and the Act does not provide any mechanism to refund licence fees. Premises licences are subject to an annual fee which is due on the anniversary of the grant of the licence. Invoices shall be sent when this is due. Generally when annual fees become due but are not paid, the premises licence is suspended. This remains the default position.

Premises may be closed due to the lockdown when the annual fee becomes due. If no licensable activities are being conducted you may decide not to pay the annual fee and allow your licence to be suspended. Suspended premises licences can be re-instated upon receipt of the annual fee payment. Premises can be open with the licence suspended if no licensable activity is taking place i.e. restaurant selling food for takeaway or deliveries but no alcohol

 

Accreditation Scheme Visit Wales

For tourism and event venues Visit Wales are launching an accreditation scheme to give reassurance to customers and the public that premises are taking the necessary precautions and are taking re-opening seriously

https://goodtogo.visitbritain.com/your-business-good-to-go-wales

 

Business Support

For business support and guidance please visit our COVID-19 guidance for business page Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Help for Businesses

 

Contacts

Licensing team: 01597 827389 / licensing@powys.gov.uk

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